REVIEW: 2019 Ford Edge ST AWD- Quiet Confidence

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The 2019 Ford Edge ST AWD offers a premium driving experience and is packed with performance. Yet, it has classy understated styling in the same way that “Sleepers” had back in the day.

What is it? 

The Ford Edge is a two-row crossover, in a size category often called “midsized.” It has a roomy passenger compartment and a very large cargo area. It is a bit larger than the biggest of the “compact crossovers” like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, but much more manageable in traffic or a parking lot than the big three-row crossovers like the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer.

Pricing and trims

The Ford Edge has four trims, SE, SEL, Titanium, and ST. The SE starts at about $32,000 and the ST tops out at about $50K. Our fully-loaded ST AWD trim had an as-tested price including destination of $49,430. These prices are a bit lower than the segment average and significantly below a premium brand with the capabilities of the Edge ST AWD.

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Safety

The Ford Edge earns the highest possible score on all IIHS crash tests as well as the IIHS active safety test. Ford has packed the Edge with available safety features. Some are new and very advanced, such as the Post-Collision Braking, Evasive Steering Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering. Couple these with the fact that midsize crossovers are the safest vehicles overall on the road and the Edge is among the safest vehicles one can buy at any price.

Performance

Unlike many of the crossovers in the segment, the Edge ST AWD isn’t pretending it will take you across the Serengeti. There are no pretend front skip plates made of plastic, no ladder affixed to the rear tailgate and no jerry can holders. This trim is a performance vehicle, and it shines on back roads and highways. It feels like it would also be right at home on a dragstrip or road course. The Edge ST can sprint from 0-60 MPH in about 5.7 seconds. For a vehicle this size and style, that is plenty quick.

The Edge ST AWD uses Ford’s fantastic 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine. The engine generates 335 hp, but it is the 380 lb-feet of torque that is the real difference maker. (Here’s why). Around town, the Edge is very quick and super responsive. There is zero lag of any sort when one toes the power pedal. The Edge can also turn on the jets in any situation, like when passing or when heading up an on-ramp. Based on our testing of much more expensive “performance” crossovers from premium brands, none have more real-world quickness than the Edge. The torque and power are very satisfying to put to use. The eight-speed transmission with paddle shifters was ideal. We never noticed it. No hunting for gears, no negative sensations of shifting. We would take this transmission over a “European” DSG any day. The Sport mode is super-easy to engage. It is a button on top of the shifter knob. One press and the Edge ST AWD really comes alive and wants to play.

Ride and handling

The Edge ST also has great real-world handling. There is little body lean and the Edge’s steering is precise (compared to other crossovers its size). It is very easy to place the Edge exactly where you want it on the road. Even better, despite having very large low profile tires, the Edge had super-smooth handling over rough roads. Our New England roads were at their late-spring worst during testing and we never felt any harshness. Contrast this with the overly-stiff ride of some premium sports crossovers from other brands and the Edge is ahead by a country mile.

On the highway, the Edge ST AWD is amazingly quiet. Ford really went all-in to make the Edge have a premium feel. Subjectively, it was one of the most silent highway vehicles we can remember.

Seating

Ford didn’t overdo it with the sport seats. They have great support and they look like they belong in a sporty vehicle, but they were not silly with five-point harness holes in the backs. We loved the combination of premium textile and leather. The ST stamp also seemed appropriate. The seats in the ST are both heated and cooled.

The adjustable second-row seats are roomy for three passengers. You can really feel the added width here compared to some of the “compact crossovers” that are a bit more narrow. The ST trim has a 115-volt AC plug in the back as well as 12-volt DC power point. The two rear outboard seats are heated.

Cargo

The Edge has a wide, deep and flat cargo area. With the rear seats up, the volume is a generous 39.2 cubic feet, and with them folded that space expands to 73.4 cubic feet. This volume is about the same as a Honda CR-V offers, but more than most compact crossovers come with. We slid a men’s bike inside without having to take off the bike’s front wheel and without having to move the front seats up.  Under the cargo floor are a spare tire and a very large area in which one could store tools and emergency items.

 – Related Story: Not convinced Crossovers’ Convenience Outweighs Style? Let Us Convince You

Infotainment and Features

Ford’s infotainment systems are among our favorites. There is no frustrating mouse to learn. Rather, Ford used a simple touch screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both standard and we used Android Auto quite a bit. It worked flawlessly. Audio quality was top-notch with rich tones and deep bass. The built-in Nav in the ST is also great. It offers very accurate real-time traffic on the main map view. The ST trim comes standard with a trailer hitch. We only found a single item missing from our ST AWD, a heated steering wheel.

 – Related Story: Three Things To Look For In a Great Infotainment System

Overall

The Ford Edge ST AWD is a unique offering. It brings performance, handling, and a premium driving experience at a price point that other brands charge up to 50% more for. The Edge ST AWD is easily one of our favorite crossovers to drive and the size is ideal for many buyers. Given Ford’s reputation for discounting its vehicles at the dealership, we feel the Edge ST AWD is an amazing value. Those who want a roomy, all-road, all-weather performance vehicle with great cargo space who also want a high-performance driving experience, should start their search with the Ford Edge ST AWD.

 

 

 

 

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John Goreham

John Goreham